By Charlie Kimber
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Millions driven from their homes as Sudan’s generals wage war

The International organisation for Migrations reports that around 24.7 million Sudanese people need humanitarian aid and protection
Issue 2872
Woman protesting in Sudan with homemade yellow anti-war placards and sudanese flag flying in the background

Women in Blue Nile state protested against the war recently

The generals’ civil war in Sudan has driven nearly five million people from their homes.

 The International Organisation for Migration, part of the United Nations system, said on Wednesday that 3.8 million people had been displaced and were still inside Sudan’s borders. A further 1.1 million had fled to neighbouring countries.

 It added that about 24.7 million Sudanese, roughly half the country’s population, need humanitarian aid and protection.

 Fighting broke out between the army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in April. The feuding forces were united against those seeking to bring democracy to Sudan. But they have fallen out over which of them will dominate.

Recent massacres underlined why people move. At least 19 civilians were killed as a result of artillery shelling on Tuesday, targeting RSF positions in the Umbada suburb, west of Omdurman.

“Indiscriminate bombardment and drone strikes conducted by the Sudanese army targeted two RSF positions in the Salheen Um Badda area,” said the grassroots Resistance Committees of Um Badda District 21.

Bombs killed at least 25 civilians in the capital Khartoum last week. Five civilians died when bombs fell on their homes, a medical source said, a day after an airstrike in the south of the city killed at least 20.

 Horrifying reports have emerged of mass racist killings and rapes in the Darfur region in recent weeks.

 The civil war nationally has killed over 4,500 people, according to the UN.

 The generals who began the battle for control—Abdel Fattah al‑Burhan and Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, better known as Hemeti—are directly responsible for the carnage and the suffering. Having squashed moves to democracy in a coup in 2021, these warlords are ready to wade through blood to advance their own narrow interests.

 Each side has its international backers who bleat about democracy but fuel the fighting.

 The liberal forces that have unfortunately dominated the political leadership of the Sudanese revolution in recent years have led it to disaster. And the Resistance Committees that are still organising at the base of society have not put forward a clear path towards taking power.

 That will happen systematically only if the resistance committees fight against the generals through the methods of class struggle.

It is painful to admit it, but the Sudanese struggle has seen a massive setback with the outbreak of the war. It emphasises that half-made revolutions lead to disaster and far greater human cost than ones that make no compromises with the rich and the old order and fight to the end.

But despite terrible conditions, there are still fightbacks. Women in Damazin, the capital of Blue Nile state, organised an anti-war demonstration recently.

According to the Damazin Resistance Committees, the authorities then arrested several of the activists involved. Some were released following questioning, others, including prominent activist Nahla Al-Badri, remain in custody.

The Blue Nile government issued a circular explicitly forbidding any political activities aimed at “inciting an end to the war”.

The killing and suffering leaves the British government unmoved. It continues to deny entry to Sudanese refugees.

 Its racist policies have blocked the creation of adequate safe and legal routes for people fleeing the war.

 Wafaa Salim was visiting relatives in Sudan with her son when war broke out in April. As a British citizen she was evacuated on an emergency airlift but was told she could not bring her young nieces and nephews to safety because they don’t have British passports.

She told Middle East Solidarity, “I live with the guilt of leaving them in the war.”

Wafa will be speaking about her experiences and about why Sudanese refugees are campaigning for the government to change its policies at the Sudan Solidarity Conference on 30 September.

Sudan Solidarity Conference 2023, 30 September

Join trade unionists and activists from Sudan and Britain for this anti-racist and anti-war event. Workshops on refugee solidarity, health and education, and culture. Supported by NEU, PCS, UCU, and Aslef unions, University of Khartoum Alumni Association, Sudanese Engineers and Doctors’ Unions in the UK and others.

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